When members of ancient civilizations wanted to relax after a long week, they didn’t mix a martini, crack open a beer or uncork a bottle of wine. They drank mead, a fermented beverage made with honey, water and yeast, along with various combinations of fruits, herbs and spices. Mead was produced throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, with varieties based on the availability of ingredients in different regions. It remained the preferred libation for centuries, until its popularity was eclipsed by other alcoholic beverages.
Recently, however, mead is enjoying a resurgence, with one of the country’s premier meaderies located in Arizona. Prescott is home to the Superstition Meadery, owned by husband-and-wife team Jeff and Jennifer Herbert. In 2012 the pair began making mead in small batches and selling it at the Skull Valley Winery, thinking its appeal would be limited. Fast-forward to 2016, which brought their newly renovated tasting room on Prescott’s historic Courthouse Square, as well as accounts throughout the US, and in Europe and Thailand.
Combining pure Arizona honey with unique ingredients sourced from around the world produces mead that has won numerous awards in international competitions and turned casual tasters into mead connoisseurs. Jeff and Jennifer are founding members of the American Mead Makers Association and have created more than 90 unique meads and hard ciders. They say nothing makes them happier than seeing people enjoy what they create.